PARIS (May. 10)
Israeli Foreign Minister Yigal Allan and Ivory Coast President Felix Houphouet-Boigny met here today for unannounced talks on the Middle East crisis. An Israeli Embassy spokesman said their two sessions together, which spanned over two hours, had been fruitful. He indicated that further meetings of this type could follow Israel’s general elections next week.
The circumstances of the meeting were similar to those several months ago when Premier Yitzhak Rabin met Houphouet-Boigny in Switzerland with no prior announcement. They reportedly agreed at that time to further high level contacts between their countries.
The-Allon-Houphouet-Boigny talks took place at the African leader’s Paris apartment. The Israeli minister broke a journey to London, where he is to meet with Secretary of State Cyrus Vance tomorrow, in order to keep his unexpected rendezvous here. Houphouet-Boigny is regarded as an influential go-between in efforts to bring the viewpoints of Israel and the Arabs, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, to each other.
After his meeting with Allon, the Ivory Coast leader said modestly: “I put up no ideas of my own for a Middle East peace. ‘I just pick up suggestions and pass them along. As for peace-making, you are asking too much of me.” A statement from the Israeli Embassy tonight said: “The talks were conducted in a frank and trusting atmosphere and covered the world situation with special emphasis on the Middle East.”
Houphouet-Boigny has had a series of talks with Middle East leaders, including the PLO since he met with Rabin in Geneva in February.